A Momentary Flow

Updating Worldviews one World at a time

Google makes us all dumber: The neuroscience of search engines -As search engines get better, we become lazier. We’re hooked on easy answers and undervalue asking good questions - Ian Leslie
In 1964, Pablo Picasso was asked by an interviewer about the new electronic calculating machines, soon to become known as computers. He replied, “But they are useless. They can only give you answers.”
We live in the age of answers. The ancient library at Alexandria was believed to hold the world’s entire store of knowledge. Today, there is enough information in the world for every person alive to be given three times as much as was held in Alexandria’s entire collection —and nearly all of it is available to anyone with an internet connection. This library accompanies us everywhere, and Google, chief librarian, fields our inquiries with stunning efficiency. Dinner table disputes are resolved by smartphone; undergraduates stitch together a patchwork of Wikipedia entries into an essay. In a remarkably short period of time, we have become habituated to an endless supply of easy answers. You might even say dependent. Google is known as a search engine, yet there is barely any searching involved anymore. The gap between a question crystallizing in your mind and an answer appearing at the top of your screen is shrinking all the time. As a consequence, our ability to ask questions is atrophying. Google’s head of search, Amit Singhal, asked if people are getting better at articulating their search queries, sighed and said: “The more accurate the machine gets, the lazier the questions become.” Google’s strategy for dealing with our slapdash questioning is to make the question superfluous. Singhal is focused on eliminating “every possible friction point between [users], their thoughts and the information they want to find.” Larry Page has talked of a day when a Google search chip is implanted in people’s brains: “When you think about something you don’t really know much about, you will automatically get information.” One day, the gap between question and answer will disappear. I believe we should strive to keep it open. That gap is where our curiosity lives. We undervalue it at our peril.
go read this..
(via Google makes us all dumber: The neuroscience of search engines - Salon.com)

Google makes us all dumber: The neuroscience of search engines
-
As search engines get better, we become lazier. We’re hooked on easy answers and undervalue asking good questions
-
Ian Leslie

In 1964, Pablo Picasso was asked by an interviewer about the new electronic calculating machines, soon to become known as computers. He replied, “But they are useless. They can only give you answers.”

We live in the age of answers. The ancient library at Alexandria was believed to hold the world’s entire store of knowledge. Today, there is enough information in the world for every person alive to be given three times as much as was held in Alexandria’s entire collection —and nearly all of it is available to anyone with an internet connection. This library accompanies us everywhere, and Google, chief librarian, fields our inquiries with stunning efficiency. Dinner table disputes are resolved by smartphone; undergraduates stitch together a patchwork of Wikipedia entries into an essay. In a remarkably short period of time, we have become habituated to an endless supply of easy answers. You might even say dependent. Google is known as a search engine, yet there is barely any searching involved anymore. The gap between a question crystallizing in your mind and an answer appearing at the top of your screen is shrinking all the time. As a consequence, our ability to ask questions is atrophying. Google’s head of search, Amit Singhal, asked if people are getting better at articulating their search queries, sighed and said: “The more accurate the machine gets, the lazier the questions become.” Google’s strategy for dealing with our slapdash questioning is to make the question superfluous. Singhal is focused on eliminating “every possible friction point between [users], their thoughts and the information they want to find.” Larry Page has talked of a day when a Google search chip is implanted in people’s brains: “When you think about something you don’t really know much about, you will automatically get information.” One day, the gap between question and answer will disappear. I believe we should strive to keep it open. That gap is where our curiosity lives. We undervalue it at our peril.

go read this..

(via Google makes us all dumber: The neuroscience of search engines - Salon.com)

“Evolution doesn’t care about you past your reproductive age. It doesn’t want you either to live longer or to die, it just doesn’t care. From the standpoint of natural selection, an animal that has finished reproducing and performed the initial stage of raising young might as well be eaten by something, since any favorable genetic quality that expresses later in life cannot be passed along.” Because a mutation that favors long life cannot make an animal more likely to succeed at reproducing, selection pressure works only on the young.

What Happens When We All Live to 100? - The Atlantic

'Giant leap' to type 1 diabetes cure

See on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health

The hunt for a cure for type 1 diabetes has recently taken a “tremendous step forward”, scientists have said.

The disease is caused by the immune system destroying the cells that control blood sugar levels.

A team at Harvard University used stem cells to produce hundreds of millions of the cells in the laboratory.

Tests on mice showed the cells could treat the disease, which experts described as “potentially a major medical breakthrough”.

Beta cells in the pancreas pump out insulin to bring down blood sugar levels.

But the body’s own immune system can turn against the beta cells, destroying them and leaving people with a potentially fatal disease because they cannot regulate their blood sugar levels.

It is different to the far more common type 2 diabetes which is largely due to poor lifestyle.


See on bbc.co.uk
starstuffblog:

The Science Report
by Stuart Gary
New accuracy record set for quantum computing
I’ve just written a story for ABC Science about new research which has developed the first silicon quantum technology capable of holding data with over 99 per cent accuracy and 30-second coherence times.
The breakthrough, reported in two papers published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, was achieved using two different types of silicon-based qubits, the basic information storing element in a quantum computer.
One method is based on advances in previous research using phosphorous atoms as qubits, while the second method takes a new approach by turning a silicon transistor into an “artificial atom” qubit.
If you missed my radio report on the story and want to find out more, check out the online version at:
http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/10/13/4104681.htm

starstuffblog:

The Science Report

by Stuart Gary

New accuracy record set for quantum computing

I’ve just written a story for ABC Science about new research which has developed the first silicon quantum technology capable of holding data with over 99 per cent accuracy and 30-second coherence times.

The breakthrough, reported in two papers published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, was achieved using two different types of silicon-based qubits, the basic information storing element in a quantum computer.

One method is based on advances in previous research using phosphorous atoms as qubits, while the second method takes a new approach by turning a silicon transistor into an “artificial atom” qubit.

If you missed my radio report on the story and want to find out more, check out the online version at:

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/10/13/4104681.htm

Reblogged from StarStuff